U’s Women make it five unbeaten
Cambridge United Women made it five matches in a row unbeaten in the league as they hosted high flying and unbeaten Gillingham Ladies and earned a very credible and hard fought 1-1 draw.
The U's got out of the blocks fastest and the bench were up and celebrating as Laura Mills fired in a 25 yard strike which looked as though it had found the roof of the net, but had actually nestled on top instead. It would only be a few minutes later that the Gillingham defence was fully unlocked though.
An inch perfect ball over the top from Mills found Wiltshire's well timed run and she managed to lob the advancing Sarah Quantrill in the Gill’s goal with composure on the half volley to give the U's the lead.
Verity Crook was alive on a couple of occasions, coming out of her goal to sweep up and smother the ball but in truth, Gills chances were kept to a minimum. Wiltshire went close after a jinxing run saw her strike just wide and then she turned provider to find Emma Jenkins late run from full back and she fired wide first time. The visitors then came mightily close to the equaliser when Kallie Balfour struck the bar from close range and United cleared the danger.
Having to contend with a very physical opposition side as well as playing up the slope at Mildenhall Town FC on a heavy pitch, the U's were made to do their fair share of defending in the second half as they looked to protect their lead and hit on the break.
They almost did just that when Wiltshire ran on to Lucy Du Plooy's ball forwards but her flick past Quantrill went narrowly wide. Crook was called into action on increasingly more occasions and blocks, interceptions and tackles were being made everywhere. However, the away side did manage to grab an equaliser when Balfour got free down the right and her low cross was bundled home by Baker-Carroll despite the best efforts of Laura Bright.
Both teams went end to end in search for a winner in a highly entertaining encounter but the whistle blew to leave both teams sharing a point each.
Manager Steve Edwards was satisfied after the game and said: "We'd probably have taken a point before the game and we have had to do a large amount of defending as a group today.
“But it's a sign of where we are at that we can compete with clubs like Gillingham who have come down from the league above and stayed as a strong set up. It's five games unbeaten and I hope the belief in this excellent side continues."
LINE UP - Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Kayleigh Anne Burt, Laura Bright (c), Lucy Du Plooy (sub 68 mins Carrie Bennett), Tahnee Perfect, Hannah Goodchild (sub 63 mins Laura Baker), Laura Mills, Sarah Wiltshire, Becky Taylor (sub 74 mins Faith Hewitt), Isabella Simmons